You Need Air Medical Transport. Now What? How to Choose a Worldwide Air Ambulance Company
In my experience, one of the scariest aspects of the whole air medical transport process for both patients and their families is dealing with the unknown. Most people have no idea how to go about choosing an air ambulance provider – they're simply not familiar with what's involved, and that's not surprising. Air ambulance trips aren't a regular event for most people, so they don't know where to begin.
Many families start looking for an air ambulance provider with a simple internet search, and that typically is a good place to start. After all, with air ambulance providers there’s typically not a local storefront or office you can visit. And even once you’ve narrowed down your list of air ambulance providers, you will in all likelihood work with them exclusively by phone and email.
But we understand that making all the arrangements for an air ambulance transport on the phone and online can be a bit nerve-wracking, since you're handing over a lot of money – and, more importantly, the health and safety of your loved one – to people who you've never met in person. So how can you know if you've made a good decision?
To help calm your fears, I've put together a list of some questions to ask before your choose an air ambulance provider. Getting answers to these questions can make the decision-making process a bit less stressful – and, more importantly, help you choose the right provider.
1) How long have you been in business? Find out how long the air ambulance company has been in business. While a new provider might be perfectly competent, working with a more established company may help ease some of your anxiety. Here at MedFlight911, we have more than 30 years of experience coordinating medical transports. That means that we know how to create an air medical transport strategy that fits your needs. We're able to anticipate challenges long before they become a problem, and take steps to overcome them.
2) What services do you provide? Some air ambulance companies are "one-size-fits-all" providers. Others, like MedFlight911, provide an array of services that can be tailored to the patient's particular needs. For patients who need it, we'll arrange air ambulance transport. But if an air ambulance isn't appropriate, we can talk about other options, such as ground medical transport or commercial air medical escort.
3) Have you done similar transports in the past? Ask if the provider has worked on similar transports in the past. For example, if you need an international air medical transport, find out if the company has done them before. Or if you need specialized medical care – pediatric or neonatal care, for example – ask the provider about their experience with those kinds of transfers.
If you're dealing with a unique or complicated situation, ask if the provider is willing (and able) to accommodate your needs. Experienced providers like MedFlight911 can come up with a solution that fits your unique needs. (To see what I mean, read our story of the incredibly complicated air ambulance transport of a young burn victim from the Ukraine to Boston.)
4) Who provides the care for the patient? Make sure you get information about the qualifications of the medical crew who will be caring for the patient during the transport. At MedFlight911, our medical personnel are highly experienced and extensively trained in their respective specialties. Physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine. Critical care flight nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapists are licensed and carry specialized certifications above the normal requirements.
If you have questions about scheduling an air medical transport for your loved one, call us today at 888-359-1911. One of our medically trained transport specialists is always happy to talk with you and walk you through the steps in the air medical transport process. Or, start your no-obligation transport quote here.
And come back here to our blog next week to learn more about the air ambulance transport process, including everything that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that each trip comes off without a hitch.